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General guidelines for giving children medicine at school

November 03, 2003|by

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Association of School Nurses gives the following recommendations regarding medicating children at school:

  • Contact your school nurse or principal to learn the rules your school follows for handling and distributing medicine. Ask to see a copy of your school's policy.

  • Find out who is responsible for administering medication in your school, and what medical training they have.

  • Deliver the medication in the original container to the school nurse or office. Your child should not carry medicine in school, unless he or she has doctor's approval to self-medicate or have medicine for a chronic condition, such as asthma.

  • Put it in writing. If your child has prescription medication for a specific illness, you'll need a note from your child's doctor with the name of the drug, dosage, the times when the medication is to be taken, possible side effects and the reason for the medication. A similar note, either from a parent or doctor, is advisable for any over-the-counter medication your child is taking for an illness.

  • Tell your child never to share prescription or over-the-counter medication with another student.

  • Keep natural and homeopathic remedies at home.

  • Tell the nurse about any special considerations for storing the medication. Ask that all medicine be kept in a locked container.

  • Know how your child will get the medication. Will someone call your child to the school office, or will he or she have to remember to get his or her medication?

  • Call the nurse or your child's teacher periodically to find out if your child is getting the medication according to your instructions. Schools often keep a medication log that you can check.

  • Update your child's medical history forms as needed. Share information about your child's general health and any medications given at home with teachers, nurses and administrators.

  • Allow your child to be an active participant in his or her medication regimen. Be certain that your child knows what the medication looks like and how much and how often it should be given. Doing this will help your child know if he or she is getting the wrong medication or incorrect dosage at school.

    - Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org on the Web, and the National Association of School Nurses at www.nasn.org on the Web.

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